On June 20, 2015, the world celebrated World Refugee Day, an international observance dedicated to raising awareness about the situation of refugees around the world.
The United Nations Refugee Agency has announced that almost 60 million people have been forcibly displaced from their home countries, with nearly 20 million being refugees, and over half are children. This is the largest number of refugees ever recorded, and war, conflict, and persecution makes for more and more people displaced from their homes.
These people have been forcibly turned away by their governments, and with nowhere to go, they seek relief and assistance from others. In a press release, UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Antonio Guterres, notes that refugees will remember what we do, and that “even as this tragedy unfolds, some of the countries most able to help are shutting their gates to people seeking asylum. Borders are closing, pushbacks are increasing, and hostility is rising. Avenues for legitimate escape are fading away.”
Smaller and poorer countries host 86% of refugees by themselves, and as they become overwhelmed and unstable over time, the larger players in the international community must help shoulder the burden and set an example for the world.
These people need help, and collectively, the world can give refugees a place to call home, and work together to alleviate the violent and unjust conditions in our global community.
In ISIS and conflict-torn Syria:
- The Syria refugee crisis is the largest displacement of people of our time.
- Half of the country’s pre-war population is displaced.
- 4 million Syrians have fled to neighboring countries.
- Turkey currently hosts 2 million Syrian refugees, more than any other country.
- The U.S. estimates it has spent $5.5 billion on the Syrian refugee response.
- World Food Programme (WFP) Turkey only has enough food to reach 154,000 Syrian refugees monthly. Consider donating.
For humanitarian donations to assist the Syrian crisis:
From U.S. President Barack Obama: “World Refugee Day is a solemn occasion for the United States to join our partners in the international community in recognizing the dignity, value, and potential of every one of these lives.”
Links to more information: